Eeewww – pass the sick bag

stan-timecopsWho can fail to be heartened by the Standard’s editorial on the threats against candidate Ken Chow and Legislative Council member-elect Eddie Chu? We can be confident that the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the police will [despite indications that they are now subject to Chinese Communist Party direction] handle the complaints seriously as it gives the agencies the opportunity to prove the public has misunderstood them, and they’re as trustworthy as ever.

Such a cheery and uplifting thought puts me in the mood for some good old-fashioned, no-nonsense, full-on, vomit-inducing shoe-shining – like we used to enjoy in the days before Communist Party henchmen and rural mafia thugs ran Legislative Council elections. And the South China Morning Post hosts an exquisite example today, in a full-page ad…


The ad congratulates one Dr Chan Chi Mong on being reappointed big boss at Pui Ching Middle and feeder schools in Kowloon. Which, as we all know, is a highly esteemed, venerable, Baptist, (probably) exclusive/elite, blah-blah, etc educational institution. Alumni include: John Hung (Wheelock, prison), ex-Sir CK Chow, Henry Tang, Simon Peh (of ICAC fame) and Regina Tsang (third place, Miss Hong Kong, 1979).

Normally, this sort of worshipful announcement in a newspaper is signed by a long list of people or bodies all wanting a piece of the grovel-dom. Sometimes – it is distressing to relate – the target of the obsequiousness discreetly initiates the shoe-shining ad himself by getting a go-between to invite sponsors. In this case, one Koo Ming Kown of Pui Ching-connectons is the sole sponsor.

The ad lists the great achievements of the hitherto unheard-of ‘celebrity and social pillar’…


It’s not proper shoe-shining unless you heap praise upon the recipient for having a fake doctorate – this one from the (wow-I’m-shocked) bogus ‘European University of Ireland’.

Another shining sign of attainment among social climbers in Hong Kong is being made a Justice of the Peace. The office is a colonial-era relic, and only a tiny handful of JPs (pro-dem misfits) actually perform any duties – mainly checking conditions in prisons. But people badger and beg incessantly to get themselves or their offspring the meaningless title, which is hardly surprising given that your ‘highly respectable social status is affirmed as a result’…


The two political parties mentioned here are in fact rivals – both are ultra-moderate, wannabe-Beijing-friendly splinters of mainstream pro-democracy groups. The fawning congratulations also mention that ‘Dr’ Chan has Kuomintang links, which explains the absence of the sort of Mainland/United Front stuff we would otherwise expect in local contemporary public sycophancy. (This symbolic distance from the CCP milieu could have something to do with Pui Ching’s Christian heritage, but I may be reading too much into it.) He has a seat on an appropriately mind-numbing and inconsequential government body; chances of a Bronze Bauhinia Star are slim, but it’s not impossible.

The full-page adulation concludes by saying ‘Dr’ Chan is a director of two listed companies, and they and the world in general are naturally all the more magnificent for it. The database at names the two (obscure) firms, and helpfully reports their performance since he joined the boards, which happens to be underwhelming. He also appears in the Panama Papers, but who doesn’t?

Thus ends our delicious little glimpse at the fine art of puke-making Hong Kong shoe-shining. I declare the weekend open with the reassuring thought that at least some of our city’s core values are surviving and in good shape.

Update: It seems Koo hates Chan, and the ad may be parody. or actual sarcasm. In which case this is a major breakthrough in high-society bitchiness.

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9 Responses to Eeewww – pass the sick bag

  1. Revolution says:

    Watch it, Hemlock. Mr Koo Ming Kown (of Nam Tai Electronics fame) likes issuing adverts, and is pretty litigious too.

  2. reductio says:

    This is why I still buy the print edition of the SCMP. Recently, there was a classic full pager by one A. Zeman urging us all to vote, topped with a B&W picture of the man himself which looked encouragingly like the pictures seen on grave headstones. His name liveth for evermore.

  3. Big Al says:

    I’m impressed that the god-like Dr CHAN has “further enhanced the credibility of the financial sector in Hong Kong” merely by being on the board of two dodgy companies whilst at the same time also serving the community in a multitude of ways too tedious to mention. So what will be his next trick? Curing cancer? Evolving into a being of pure energy (although he’d find it difficult to pin on his JP badge)? I think we should be told. In another full-page ad, or possibly a mini-series on TVB …

  4. Cassowary says:

    Did anyone ever imagine that one day, Hemlock would be nostalgic for some old-fashioned tycoon butt-kissing? We didn’t know how good we had it under Tofu-for-Brains and Donald Duck.

  5. Knownot says:

    Today and yesterday
    Our blogger veered away
    From the over-riding situation.
    I don’t mind, I’m glad.
    After all, I’ve had
    Enough about intimidation.

    Here’s a fact to face:
    This is now a place,
    If you stand in an election –
    Mr Chu and Mr Chow
    Have learnt it now –
    You need police protection.

    Talk about a race, a phone, a flat,
    Or find old friends, and chat,
    Glad to be in touch,
    Or have a gentle rant
    About a sycophant.
    The other news is too much.

  6. Knownot says:

    Searching for Koo Ming Kown and Pui Ching on Google, Big Lychee’s headline “Eeewww – pass the sick bag” looks terribly vulgar.

    It looks as if the tribute may have been – strictly speaking – not sarcastic but ironic, and if so very witty.

  7. reductio says:


    Irony? In Hong Kong? Surely not.

  8. WTF says:

    Have mentioned in earlier comments on your posts that there is a whole mafia out of Baptist U which is closely associated with Lufsig, with Eddie Ng and many other officials inside the admin serving their corrupting purpose.

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